Week 19

What’s happening this week


  • may still feel tired
  • may need to buy a larger supportive bra as your breasts grow
  • may be eating more
  • could have some mild breathlessness – this is not a cause for worry as it’s the hormones circulating, but becoming severely out of breath needs checking with your doctor.

Your baby…

  • measures about 15 cm
  • is ‘breathing’ amniotic fluid
  • has a heartbeat much faster than your own
  • has all its genitals in place.

As pregnancy progresses, you may feel hungrier – but watch the temptation to fill up on ‘empty’ calories – see our tips for healthy snacks. You may start thinking about those first few moments after your baby is born…

What gets breastfeeding off to a good start?

The early days of breastfeeding matter. You can be sure of getting off to a good start if you bear these key points in mind:

  • have as much skin-to-skin contact as possible
  • breastfeed as soon as possible after the birthBreastfeeding.jpg
  • make sure you are holding your baby well at the breast
  • get someone to check that your baby is well positioned at the breast
  • feed your baby on demand
  • do not offer extra feeds of formula milk
  • have your baby by the bed feeding. (rather than in another room)
  • avoid using teats and dummies
  • your LMC will help establish breastfeeding.

Snack time

You don’t have to eat a green leafy vegetable every time you feel peckish, but opting for a wise choice will be good for your baby, and for you. If you feel like.......

If you feel like..... Try
a biscuit an apple, orange, banana, grapes.......
a packet of chips some chunks of cheese and celery
a cake a flapjack (oats are a good source of protein)
some lollies a small packet of raisins
a fizzy drink fruit juice and sparkling water

Be kind to your teeth and gums

Check in with your dentist as soon as you can. Your gums, together with the other soft tissues in your body, are made even softer by pregnancy hormones. You may notice some bleeding when you brush. Even so, keeping your teeth clean is key to preventing more serious problems. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush, and use a toothpaste suitable for tender gums if they’re bothering you (your dentist can advise). Frequent sugary foods, drinks and snacks may increase problems. Some women develop gum infections during pregnancy, and these will need treating as soon as possible.


Always let your dentist know you are pregnant – that way you won’t be given X-rays or mercury fillings which are not recommended during pregnancy.

Cranberries and cystitis

Some pregnant women are prone to cystitis, a bacterial infection in the bladder which needs medical treatment – you’ll usually know have it because there is a burning sensation when you urinate. You can help avoid cystitis by ‘flushing out’ any bacteria in your bladder with plenty of clear fluids. You could also try cranberry juice, which helps prevent the bacteria that cause the infection taking hold.

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